Chicago French Market adds new kiosks

March 23, 2013 8:18:58 PM PDT
The Chicago French Market in the West Loop recently celebrated its three-year anniversary, mainly by adding a trio of new kiosks.

As the market's managers continue to evolve and grow, they're realizing regular customers like smoked meat, sweets and kosher food.

They've been busy assembling and re-shuffling their lineup. While stalwarts like Klay Oven Kitchen continue to crank out solid Indian food, a number of newcomers have changed the landscape.

Bellotea sells more than 90 varieties of loose leaf tea here, having expanded from Downers Grove.

And Le caf? du Marche now has a respectable lineup of French-inspired sandwiches, like a perfectly-crafted duck confit with caramelized onions.

"So you definitely make some adjustments during the course of the years, and even for other markets it's always the same because you're setting up something in the area, you want to make sure that you provide what people want," said the Chicago French Market's Owner, Sebastien Bensidoun.

They apparently wanted kosher. So Skokie-based "Bebe's Eatery" stepped in. They offer CRC-approved, Glatt kosher corned beef sandwiches; some with thinly-pounded schnitzel, plus bagels and sweets.

Other newcomers include Bucktown's Lillie's Q barbecue, which allows them to capture part of the West Loop lunch crowd.

"The opportunity was a lot more catering business. So we could capitalize on getting into these offices, doing some more catering and getting more awareness of Lillie's Q," said Lillie's Q Owner Charlie McKenna.

The biggest seller is the pulled pork, but the packaging is ingenious. Order a smoked tri-tip sandwich, and the griddled bun, meat and sauce is packed separately, so you can assemble back at your table later. The Brunswick stew and creamy grits are also worth checking out.

The other newcomer: Beavers Donuts. They still operate a roaming food truck in the city - frying their tiny orbs to-order and either coating in flavored sugars or topping them with any number of sweet, creative flavors, like pistachio, cannoli or pop rocks.

"It's not like something like a national chain, so we're thinking of bringing a kind of artisanal doughnuts, which is really something as for myself, being French, when I think about some delicacy in the U.S. I will definitely be thinking about doughnuts."

Now for some of the businesses here, this is their only location. But for others, like Lillie's Q or Beavers Donuts, this is a secondary spot, where they can open up an entirely new market for their business. In the case of Beavers, folks who don't want to follow them around on the food trucks, can now just come here.

Chicago French Market
131 N. Clinton St.
(312) 575-0306
www.frenchmarketchicago.com

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